Discovering Togo - History

History of Togo

Before the influx of the Portuguese in the late 15th century, various tribes migrated into the country from different directions because of the pressure of colonial rule in neighbouring countries. The Voltaic peoples and the Kwa were the earliest known inhabitants. The Ewe followed in the 14th century and the Ane in the 18th century. The Ewe ethnic group came from Nigeria and Benin, and the Guin and Mina tribes came from Ghana. In the 16th century, slave trade began and the Europeans found Togo. The dense population along the coast prompted the Europeans to call Togo the "slave coast".

The Danish claimed the land in the 18th century, but by 1884 it was established as a German colony (Togoland). In an 1884 treaty signed at Togoville, Germany declared a protectorate over a stretch of territory along the coast and gradually extended its control inland. This became the German colony Togoland in 1905. After the German defeat during World War I in August 1914 at the hands of British troops (coming from the Gold Coast) and the French troops (coming from Dahomey), Togoland became two League of Nations mandates, administered by the United Kingdom and France. After World War II, these mandates became UN Trust Territories. The British portion voted for incorporation with Ghana. The French portion became Togo, which declared its independence on April 27, 1960.